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City of Heroes Review

Richard Cox Posted:
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As far as the value of City of Heroes goes, there are quite a few features and things about the game that will sway potential players either to the "Gotta have it" end of the spectrum or the "Can't stand it" end. If you're not a fan of the comic book superhero world then this game obviously isn't for you. Don't get me wrong, it's a great game mechanically speaking even if you take the theme and storyline out of it. But you will definitely enjoy the game more if you can get into the superhero aspects of it. CoH will definitely have more value for a more casual gamer who play shorter periods at a stretch. A lot of people have passed on this game due to the complete lack of PvP. Well, that will change soon with the release of City of Villains. Overall as always the Value of the game comes down solely to what you're looking for in a game. If you're the type of person who generally only plays for short periods at a time then you'll love City of Heroes. If you're the type of player who has to have a great loot system so you can collect all the "uber-leet" gear in the game then you probably won't care too much for CoH's complete lack of loot. Personally I feel CoH is a great game and well worth the money, and it will only get better with the release of City of Villains.


How fun is City of Heroes? Well that's a very loaded question really. How fun is CoH if you play for about an hour or two a day tops? Simply put one of the most fun games you'll ever play. It you're the type of person who tends to play 6-8 hours a day, then this game more than likely isn't going to be fun for you. Basically CoH can get a bit monotonous and repetitive after a while. The mission system in and of itself is very well done. However it's the variety of missions, or lack thereof really, that gets kinda old. Chances are you're going to be doing the same basic mission over and over quite often. Granted there are storyline changes, such as hunting down ten Skulls and killing them as opposed to ten Clockworks. As it is now, it's definitely a blast to log in and play for an hour or two, join a group, thwart some bad guys etc. But after an extending gaming session a lot of people find that it gets too repetitive. Steps are definitely being taken to correct this small problem. The recent update added new zones, new twists to a bunch of missions, instanced outdoor missions, content for levels 40-50 and a couple new trial rooms. All of this on top of the upcoming City of Villains will definitely increase the fun value of CoH. Once City of Villains is live then you will definitely have variety in what you can do ingame. When you get tired of doing missions, go take part in some huge PvP battles!


There is perhaps less community than in other MMORPGs simply because there is little inherent need for large-scale communication other than finding groups. The friends list is limited to a scant 25, causing problems for players who like to keep in touch with many players that aren't in their Supergroup. While this isn't an issue for most people there are some out there who would prefer a larger friends list. Another issue that prevents large scale community from forming is the lack of a cost associated with forming a Supergroup. Anyone can form a Supergroup at level 10... which is great in that it lets everyone do whatever they want, but it also creates a ridiculously high number of independent Supergroups, many without enough members to fill out a group. Personally I feel that there should be an Influence cost to start a Supergroup, in addition to a minimum of four members. This would help bring the community together in larger Supergroups as opposed to having fifty million two and three man Supergroups all over the place. With these ever so minor changes I would definitely rate the Community at least a 9, very likely a 10.

As for the friendliness of the ingame community you really can't beat it. Finding a group is easier than in any other game I've ever played. I have never spent more than a couple minutes looking for a group. Almost everyone I've ever encountered ingame has been super-friendly (pun not intended) and a blast to play with. Most people will gladly offer up an enhancement they just got and can't use to anyone in the group who can use it. Maybe I've been extremely lucky in my playing of City of Heroes, but I have yet to join a group where I didn't have fun. Everyone has their stories of nightmare groups they have joined over the years, but so far I haven't had a single such experience in CoH.

One other minor complaint I have with the community are the copycat superheroes. In my preview I had originally mentioned this, the problem with people copycatting their favorite comic-book hero such as Wolverine. Cryptic Studios' response was "Although this system is powerful enough to allow players to "copycat" real superheroes - doing so will not be permitted within City of Heroes due to copyright laws." Unfortunately this still happens at a regular basis, in umpteen variations: "Wolverine", "The Wolverine", "Wolverine'" "Tha Wolverine'" "Wulverine" "Wolvereen" etc. I admit there is no way to stop people from doing this during character creation, but it would be nice to see more aggressive actions taken to weed them out of the game.


I have been greatly impressed by the almost complete lack of lag in this game. I have my settings cranked up, and I'm not playing on any super gaming rig or anything. But it seems like no matter what is happening on the screen I feel no lag. Even huge battles where we have 10+ players fighting 12+ enemies with all the flashes and bolts and every other power effect you can think of going off haven't slowed down my system any. The true test of this will come in the future when City of Villains is released and the possibility for extremely HUGE PvP battles presents itself. But as it stands now this is easily the most lag free mmorpg I have ever played.

Customer Service

This is another area where City of Heroes does really well. There are all of the typical ways you would expect to find to contact customer service. The Support website has an extensive and useful Knowledge Base for you to try to find the solution to your question or problem before submitting a ticket. If you don't find anything in the knowledge base to help you, you can always submit your question or problem to customer support online via an easy to use system. And if you're ingame there's a very simple, flexible and easy to use submission system. As for the response times I have always been very impressed with how quickly my questions or problems have been addressed. Every time I've had a problem or question I've been contacted a short time later and had my problem resolved quickly. This is definitely a nice touch considering the absolutely lousy customer service I've received in other games recently.


In many ways, City of Heroes is NOT your typical MMORPG. It doesn't have the depth or content that you generally expect from a MMORPG. There are no tradeskills, no loot, no armor or weapons etc. It can be a bit repetitive and monotonous at times. There's not a lot to do other than kill and do the same missions over and over. Many people have labeled CoH as giving a great first impression then leaving you wanting more after 2-4 weeks. All this may sound really negative, but you have to keep in mind that CoH isn't aiming to be your traditional mmorpg. For what it is, CoH is an extremely well made game. City of Heroes is a very action packed and fun game if taken in small doses. It's almost more of a massively multiplayer online action game with some role-playing aspects than a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. It's a great game for really casual gamers who only play an hour or two a day. Or if you're looking for a great game to spend a little time in to take a break here and there from the game you play 5+ hours a day then this is the game for you. Technically speaking there are VERY few flaws in this game, and it may very well be one of the technically best games on the market today. Regardless of the common, and justified, opinion that there is little to no depth to the game and it gets old within a couple weeks, this does not detract from the technical aspects of the game. With City of Villains coming out in the future, many of what few flaws CoH does have will be fixed. The PvP will give people something to do other than the same missions over and over. In conclusion, if you're looking for a great game to escape into for short periods of time here and there, then this is definitely the game for you. If you're looking for a fast-paced, action-packed game with more emphasis on said action than on depth and long term character development then here ya go! On the other hand, if you're looking for a game where you can immerse yourself for 6-8 hours a day... If you're the type of person who loves hunting for rare loot items and collecting uber-leet drops... I would definitely look elsewhere, at least for the time being.

Great Graphics & Sound Repetitive Missions
Unparalleled Character Customization Lack of Depth/Content
Fast Paced Action with little to No lag Copycat Superheroes
Extraordinary Customer Service

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Richard Cox